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Microsoft Surface: $199 (?)


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#101 of 161 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 11 2013 - 07:52 AM

Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

The thing is, the reality of them just doesn't match the hype yet for me. It will get there tho, it's going to take a few generations.

To be the "no compromise" device MS is shooting for, it has to have a 9 hour battery and weigh <1.5 lbs. It's really a useless tablet otherwise. It would be nice if they could get rid of the fan, but that may be asking for too much. Of course, by the time they hit these specs, the ARM tablets will presumably be <1lbs and have 15 hour battery life. So it will be still be compromised.


It's very clear that Surface Pro is a non-starter as a tablet because of physical specs, but it fails on the software side too. It does not have the breadth of touch apps that make for a good tablet, and legacy apps are difficult to impossible to use without a keyboard and pointing device because of the resolution scaling and tiny touch targets. Many of the popular mobile apps are simply not there.


It fares better as an ultrabook/MBA replacement, but it's a bit too small while the type cover/kickstand combo impairs you from using it on your lap and forces you to a single screen angle. If I needed an ultrabook/MBA replacement, I'd reach for the Yoga over this. Then again, I don't need anything like this because I use my Transformer Prime and RDP to accomplish any desktop computing.


And while they reportedly sold out all of the Surface Pro stock, that was almost certainly due to artificially constrained supply. No one outside of MS fandom is taking the "sold out" status with anything more than a grain of salt. Note that Surface RT was "sold out" as well, and you see how well that performed. Let's see how soon they get it back in stock. If it's less than a week, it's obviously artificial. It took Apple and Google weeks to resupply their flagship phones because they actually sold out.



#102 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 11 2013 - 10:39 AM

Surface RT, AFAIK, does not do VPN. Surface Pro is simply Windows 8 so it should be able to, but a thick >2lb tablet with a 4 hour battery life sounds like the last thing to consider. $900 is also steep for what your father is looking for. Meanwhile, there are over a dozen apps for Android that handle RDP and VPN is baked into the OS: http://www.howtogeek...vpn-on-android/ Note that I use my Transformer Prime for RDP 50% of the time (although I don't need the VPN feature). It's almost more of an RDP client than a consumption tablet. And we have users at work who take advantage of RDP on their Galaxy S3 phones all the time.

Well, WinRT does have a VPN client, as well as downloadable clients from providers.   We've tested this on other WinRT devices, it's OK... not great but OK.   The SurfacePro is a fully functional bird so of course it has both. The Surface Pro to me is interesting only because of the pressure sensitive stylus, which is pretty fun to screw around with.   But in comparison to the HP, Lenovo and Asus options, I'm not sure I'd classify it as "better" or a winner.   I think we're about a generation away from MS having that. I'm kind of waiting to see if Blue, the update that's supposed to happen this summer, will tie things closer together.  If that's the case it will certainly help. Right now, if you want solid VPN/RDP solutions, definitely put Android first for bang-for-buck.

What's the latest and greatest Tranformer tablet? That might be the best option for dad. Unless he doesn't mind 4 hr battery life. His laptop he keeps plugged in all the time. But I think a benefit OTA tablet is all day battery, and not bothering with wall plugs when you're using it. Android supports the newest RDP thing? That was the iPad problem, it can do the 'older' RDP, but the more recent form, doesn't work. I visited the Sony Store today and played on a Duo system for some minutes. Nice and easy to use. The stylus was fun to write search terms for Bing. They're expensive, at $1300 - $2500; though that's what I paid for a Mac laptop 5 years ago. Perceptions change :) the sliding screen, to reveal the keyboard, is cool but I don't know how good that small keyboard and mouse-nubbin are in real use. (Another benefit is my dad could give it to my mom in a couple years to use, as an upgrade. She uses windows for AOL, photos, Word, and a few other small things. )

#103 of 161 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 11 2013 - 10:47 AM

Right now, the Transformer Infinity and Keyboard dock can be had for under $600. The dock gives you another 6 hours of runtime and has a full USB port for many different kinds of HID devices as well as USB storage. I can plug a USB mouse and use it to control my RDP session, with right click and everything.


The only drawback to the seamless RDP experience is the lack of a native Windows ALT key, which makes ALT+TAB toggling impossible within the RDP session (it will toggle between Android apps instead). I don't know if this is a software issue or an OS problem. I've tried a half dozen different RDP apps, and none can surmount this problem.


I use Pocket Cloud for tablet sessions, but 2X is much better for a docked session.


I'm not exactly clear on what you mean by "new" and "old" RDP.



#104 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 11 2013 - 02:56 PM

By 'old' I mean the WinXP version that connected with a desktop client. The Mac could connect to that. I think the iPad can too. But there's a more recent version (improved security) that connects through a web browser and uses an activex component. No iOS app can connect to it. I'm not sure if there's an OS X access for it either. My poor knowledge of RDP notwithstanding, iPads can't do it. And my dad wants a tablet that can. For fun and pleasure.

#105 of 161 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 11 2013 - 03:01 PM

Ah, that's kind of RDP, but you're really thinking of RWW (Remote Web Workspaces) as a client.. his office shouldn't require that if it gets VPN services up, he should be able to go direct to the PC, UNLESS they have it specifically blocked or it's using terminal services in his offices behind RWW.. we do that, at some places, but only really medical clients who are required to make it all f---ed up.


Hmm.  Interesting.  If you have to go through a RWW, that will box out Android.   I haven't found one that will connect to any RWW that I know of.. Hanson may know differently.


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#106 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 11 2013 - 03:45 PM

I'll ask. He's an accountant, and remotes into different client's systems to do their finances. They're all small to mid size, so may not have the perfect setup. I've seen login screens that look like this. http://www.bing.com/...electedIndex=30 Can Windows RT do this? The Surface Pro isn't ruled out by battery life. If its the only option, he'd probably buy it.

#107 of 161 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 11 2013 - 03:48 PM

I will try on my rt later and let you know but I think yes

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#108 of 161 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 11 2013 - 03:53 PM

Dave- nope. You can't install the plugin in rt (yet). Updated plugin for rt not til summer so surfacert is out

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#109 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 11 2013 - 04:06 PM

Thx. I'll check the details with him tomorrow and make sure I'm barking up the right tree.

#110 of 161 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 12 2013 - 01:55 AM

Not seeing anything for Android regarding RWW. RWW is a feature with Windows Home Server and requires Active X through IE.

If you want something less expensive but lighter and longer lasting, there's a new Lenovo tablet out that's been well reviewed:


http://gdgt.com/leno...nkpad/tablet/2/


The Atom processor underperforms compared to the i5 in the Surface Pro, but if you're going to do more light computing, it should be sufficient. The big tradeoffs are weight and battery.


The issue of lack of touch apps still persists, but it's probably the only way to access RWW via tablet.



#111 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 12 2013 - 07:22 AM

My dad tells me it's RDP, logged in by IP address (typically through the browser). No RWW. No VPN. Sounds like Android and Surface Pro will do that. No iPad support, from what we've seen and tried. How about Surface RT? Maybe this will do it on the iPad: https://itunes.apple...d326512817?mt=8

#112 of 161 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 12 2013 - 08:14 AM

iPad should be able to handle RDP with Pocket Cloud (I've seen it with my own eyes). There are a half dozen other RDP apps for iOS as well.



#113 of 161 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 12 2013 - 08:44 AM

When is a sell out not a sell out?





Then again, everyone knew they artificially constrained supplies so they could act like the Surface Pro is a huge seller. Also, MS marketing = Lame. They really should fire their marketing department. They have no idea how to get on message.



#114 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 12 2013 - 11:12 AM

iPad should be able to handle RDP with Pocket Cloud (I've seen it with my own eyes). There are a half dozen other RDP apps for iOS as well.

We've tried a handful of apps in the past, and none could connect to his systems. But I guess the RDP variant needed is only available in the paid versions, not in free / trial versions.

#115 of 161 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 12 2013 - 11:46 AM

Originally Posted by Hanson 

Not seeing anything for Android regarding RWW. RWW is a feature with Windows Home Server and requires Active X through IE.

If you want something less expensive but lighter and longer lasting, there's a new Lenovo tablet out that's been well reviewed:


http://gdgt.com/leno...nkpad/tablet/2/


The Atom processor underperforms compared to the i5 in the Surface Pro, but if you're going to do more light computing, it should be sufficient. The big tradeoffs are weight and battery.


The issue of lack of touch apps still persists, but it's probably the only way to access RWW via tablet.


You mean Small Business Server Premium.   Home Server doesn't include any terminal services outside of administrative.   FYI, I'd agree on the Lenovo.   The Atom processor isn't the fastest in the world but people aren't going to be lighting up games.  And for many games it's fine there too.   It's ability to handle video, pictures, etc. at very smooth performance is quite good.


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#116 of 161 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 25 2013 - 03:01 AM

The good: Drawing! The bad: Penis Iron!!!! http://penny-arcade....-ms-surface-pro

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#117 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 25 2013 - 03:27 PM

Your last comment is the one that would trouble MS most.   The entire point of committing to keep the Windows name was to state that they had backwards compatibility through all software released on Windows.

Thinking over conversations with my dad, MS should also be worried that Android and Apple tablets seem to be the best mobile options for Remote Desktop. The PA review was quite interesting. I'd sent it to a pro artist friend of mine, except he'd put turned off by the profanity. Unfortunately, my dad doesn't draw nor game, so it doesn't help with figuring out if a Surface is useful to him.

#118 of 161 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 26 2013 - 10:15 AM

Ya think?

http://www.macrumors...-we-could-sell/


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#119 of 161 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted July 26 2013 - 10:41 AM

This whole Surface tablet thing is, predictably, completely dead in the water. 

 

The fact that the WinRT license is something like $180 because it's bundled with Office means absolutely zero OEMs will make one at a competitive price. Apple can essentially give away its software with its hardware. Google is literally giving away its software. But MS needs to collect money for its software. Here's what happens when an OEM tries to make a competitively priced tablet when you have to factor in licensing in addition to BOM:

 

http://arstechnica.c...shouldnt-exist/

 

It's shameful. But what are they going to do, make a competitively spec'd 8" tablet for $499 when the iPad mini and Nexus 7 are priced way under that?

 

Anyone with half a brain could see this coming.


Edited by Hanson, July 26 2013 - 10:42 AM.


#120 of 161 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted July 26 2013 - 07:22 PM

Combine that with inscrutable advertising causing customer confusion...

Had this been a "Surface Metro", clearly distinguished from Windows 8, both it and windows 8 might have sold a bit better. It's only made harder to buy when no one knows what the products are and do.




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